Well, somehow 2018 came galloping without my being aware, and here ‘tis, almost St. Paddy’s Day, almost Spring, and almost Easter. I have sprung forward reluctantly into Daylight Savings Time. I know my mind and body will eventually adjust. But what do I tell the DOGS, who are determined that I should be up and cheerful before the sun OR caffeine???!
One should never be grateful that time has gone by, but BOY, am I glad the last part of 2017 is OVER!
What an insane ride, and I am not even talking about the Political Circus that seems to keep evolving into something new and very strange!
I am trying extremely hard to keep anger and frustration, that great legal team, at a minimum, and watch what is transpiring all over the globe, not just here, with an interested and semi-clinical eye, knowing that all things must pass (myself included).
I had an enlightening and delightful experience when I recently performed a Valentine’s Day concert with my sister in music Michele Brourman, in Fairfield Texas.
(This is us rehearsing in the glorious home of our most generous hosts, Marc and Jan. Friends for life!)
I hadn’t been back to Texas in some years and did not know what to expect. And was charmed and delighted by everyone I met (most of whom, I KNOW, are armed and diametrically opposed to most of my political views.) We never talked politics. We talked art and music and how to help the children of the community to be introduced to the joys of theater and choir and art. These charming and intelligent folks care as much about the planet and its inhabitants as I do. Their perspective is just different. And I realize how insulated I become here in my beloved artsy California community in the Ojai Valley. I need to get out more!!!!
Speaking of the Ojai Valley…as Steven Sondheim wrote so pithily, “we’re still here”. Took 8000 brave firemen and a hundred trucks, but our home and our town survived the worst wildfire in CA history.
I had never had to evacuate before! (ALWAYS leave your car half full of gas and have a bin close at hand to load up your important documents. And don’t forget several days’ worth of underwear. That I forgot.) Luckily, I have beloved cousins in the Santa Ynez Valley who were happy to house 3 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 actors for several days. (Leave it to family! Who else wants actors for days???)
Christmas, between the fire, the ashes, the mudslides, the broken arm,
the duo flus (top and bottom…TMI?), sort of disappeared. But the New Year has brought joy, music, new projects and even some gentle rain. I am watching it right now out my window as I type. Loving the color green, which I was sure I would never see again.
As I ponder my 70th year (how in the world did THAT happen??????), I am inspired by those around me who keep on doing, creating, performing, inventing with such astounding vigor… Happy 90th, Marilyn Maye! …happy opening night, my beloved husband George Ball, as you open in KING LEAR this week…as the King…nice way to START your Shakespearean career at 83!
… I am determined to spend much more time with the older and wiser AND the younger and more enthused, and turn off the screens, large and small, that so easily steal my soul and attention. I only hope I can contribute something beautiful or useful or healing this year.
And I wish you the same!
Here’s a poem for you:
When you’re young,
Everything is Technicolor.
Red is always crimson,
Blue is more than blue.
Your heart is always pounding, beating,
Breaking, tortured, shattered.
Until the next installment,
And then it’s good as new.
Love and lust are permanent,
Wishes made for granting.
Life is one long symphony
You know will never end.
Drink the wine at once.
Why wait for the decanting?
Your skin tone is forever,
And tomorrow is your friend.
Then life becomes an opal
Whose colors keep on changing.
Red and blue are mixing
Like blood that leaves the vein.
I trade the heat of noon light
For a moonlight shade of romance.
When I listen to my heart,
Sometimes I hear the sound of rain.
Now I don’t pop the cork
Till the name is on the contract.
And I don’t buy the car
Till the check is in my hand.
If I miss the bliss of frenzy
And youthful indiscretion,
I can still be made a fool by love.
But now I understand.
And life is good.
And all is well.
It’s only just
A little more
That’s just lovely. Could Michele set ‘Pastel’ to music – is that possible ?
I’m snowed in here – marooned for a day or two !
Claude Thompson says
My wife was a McBroom from Brownwood, Texas, and sang at home & w/ community groups from gospel to opera in California, Dallas & Atlanta. An old boy friend nicknamed her “The Rose” (I was ‘the thorn’) and it stuck – so The Rose was “our” song and is still special to me.
Andris heks says
At 71 I agree!
Werner Christof says
Hi Amanda, I am this guy from Austria, who felt in love with your voice in 2017. (Better late than never) We met us last year in London at the “Pheasantry”.
I have found out, that you are singing in London again in June and have oderd tickets for both Shows (the Pheasantry and Holborne, June 16.+17.) I will fly to London just for the concerts. Will bring some special sweets from Salzburg for you ladies, just let me know, if you like sweets.
I have played your records often and must tell you, I still get goose-pimples, when I hear you sing.
Looking forward to hear and see you again.
Best wishes from Salzburg, Austria
Werner Christof says
Hello Amanda, I’ve wrote you 2 weeks ago but I am not sure, if you got my comment. I am from Austria and met you last December at the “Pheasantry” in London. Now I will join you in London again for 2 shows at the 16. and 17. of June.
You are my favorite female singer and I am so glad to hear you singing again.
See you soon in London.
With best regards from Salzburg
Christa Wiener says
Ich wűnsche mir von Herzen,
dass ich einmal ein Konzert von Ihnen in
Deutschland erleben darf.
Viele liebe Grűße
Und noch viele schőne Konzerte,
Mit lieben Grűßen
Dear Ms McBroom,
There – with that greeting, I hope I’ve established my bona fides as a sympathetic senior (when did that happen??).
My husband and I were introduced to your songs by a dear friend-in-common, and I am a devoted though limited fan (I’ve never heard you live).
I’m writing to say only – now isn’t the time to be pastel. Well, yes; maybe in business, and purchases, and even romance. But after all our years, and given our generation’s experiences, we’ve earned historically-based passion. This is the time that it’s needed; and as we grow old we have so much less to be afraid of.
Thank you for your music, your magic voice, and your irresistible lyrics. I understand that they’re scripts, more or less, but they wear wonderfully.
and congratulations to your King Lear.
Stuart Weinstein says
Wonderful to read about you. Just watched your M*A*S*H performance and loved the classical piano. I went to the internet and looked you up. The Rose wow lover that song you are a star in many ways. Great to hear you’re doing well and still performing.
Patricia Logan says
You seem to be someone who would be a good friend.
Patricia Logan says
Thank you for your contribution to the beauty in the world.
Mitzie Delcambre says
I enjoyed your blog as I stumbled upon it searching for how The Rose came to be! My mom is 91 and has chosen that song as one of three for her funeral. I printed the lyrics and read them to her last night just to be sure she liked all the words. When I finished I asked, “Do you like it?” She smiled sweetly and said “I love it!” It’s in then! I hope I can find a vocalist to do it justice.
Bill Wheat says
Where in Texas? I’m an ex-pat native (first 38 years in the Great State) from central Texas, about 120 miles WSW of Ft. Worth, now in St. Louis and trying to get back “home”. I am 75 and liked a few of Janis’ songs, but I was a 50’s-60’s “folkie” who never quite forgave the Beatles for displacing Belafonte, The Brothers Four, Kingston Trio, The Weavers, PPM, Van Ronk, Doc Watson, (NO Dylan wasn’t “Folk”), Terry Gilkyson, (the list is much longer, but that should make the point), and only began to recover with the Doors’ first album. Got 3 years in broadcast AM radio in San Angelo, starting in ’62, 17 years later got an MFA in theater/drama from the Dallas Theater Center (then affiliated with Trinity Univ) studying under Paul Baker. Had absolutely NO talent for theater but was hooked on Baker’s philosophy. Spent about 5 years eking out a living (I was too old to begin in the “business” and had child support payments to boot) as an “artist in residence” and started selling Yellow Page Advertising. Last 10 years of my work life (15th uniquely different occupation) were as a (certified, not degreed) quality engineer/trouble shooter for a factory making original equipment automobile parts for the industry. Factory closed (7 years before I’d hoped it would) in the recession of ’07. OKAY, all that’s so you may understand better what follows. I’d thought (“remembered” ?) that, because The Rose was the movie it was, Janis had the popular recording. The Divine Miss M is someone I admire, and I had no idea that you (whom I’d never heard of) or who, had written the song, having attributed it to Joplin, I thought it was one she’d written. Fast forward to 10-29-2018, and while I was filling my tank a bit ago, the car on the other side of the pump island was driven by a guy with a heckuva sound system in the car, PLUS, a microphone wired into the system so he could sing through outside speakers with the playing song (he had NO voice, worse even than mine) and he was serenading the pumps (and me and a motorcycling couple) with a male country singer singing “The Rose” (sorta Tom T. Hall style), interjecting (karaoke style) his accompaniment on the chorus. He left, and I caught the eye of the cyclists who were shaking their heads, and remarked that it was a shame for anyone to be having the fun the guy was having and not getting paid for it. THAT brought me home and to searching for the original artist, hence to you. Thoroughly enjoyed your story on the internet link How “The Rose” Came To Be – Amanda McBroom
I was pleased to read of your success, wish you very well as you continue, and hope George’s run as Lear was as enjoyable as that role ought to be for someone over the age of 65. I think it’s one of Shakespeare’s most challenging roles, Hamlet never saw the day.
“Pastel” hit a particularly sweet spot with this old codger. THANKS!! (for “The Rose” too)
Jim Parker says
Recently listened to “the Rose”, the cover by Janis.
It is exactly what needed to hear at this time of my life as I turn 75 and found love. Maybe for first time.
A big risk taker in my life, I have been very fortunate, to have “learned to live” through it all.
Thank you this wonderful inspired song and a lyrics Amanda.
If your travels find you in Vermont, I will be there.
Gerry Dieffenbach says
I’ve heard many beautiful arrangements of many Amanda McBroom songs over the years, but last night on The Voice, Jennifer Hudson and her two finalists did a trio arrangement of The Rose which took the audience (television and live) to heaven. I hope you’ve heard it and if not, I’m sure it’s on social media readily accessible. Much love Amanda!